It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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Desano Grammar: Studies in the Languages of Colombia 6
The study of language can be compared to an explorer mapping out new territory or a miner working a deep vein of gold. Marion Miller spent over thirty years digging up and revealing nuggets in the phonology and grammar of the Desano language. She presents here a written record of the results of her years of living with the Desano people and studying and speaking the Desano language.
Written in a descriptive style and using a form and function approach, this study presents a comprehensive overview of the parts of Desano grammar, from the phonetic to the discourse features. Although the classification system of the Tucanoan languages has also been written up in the Tuyuca and Barasana, it is repeated in this grammar for comparative purposes to show how the different groups make these classifications. Verb compounding is covered in greater depth here than was explored in other treatises.
The Desano people live in the southeastern part of Colombia and across the border in Brazil. There are twenty-two Desano dialects; examples in this grammar study are from the boreka porã dialect.